Joe Buffalo, The Indigenous Canadian Skater Who Survived Ugly Residential School System

Joe Buffalo Film
YouTube: The New Yorker

The Award-winning short documentary about an Indigenous skateboard legend Joe Buffalo has got all the skateboarders talking after its release.

Buffalo is a survivor of Canada's notorious Indian Residential School system. Following a traumatic childhood and decades of addiction, Buffalo faced his inner demons, realizing that anything is possible and his dream to become a professional skateboarder can be a reality.

The film centers on Buffalo, who was born to a family of Samson Cree heritage on the plains in Canada. As a kid, he saw a cousin skating and got hooked immediately to skateboarding.

"For me, skateboarding was definitely like a savior, given the circumstances of me growing up, having to deal with the cards I was dealt," Buffalo said.

The cards referred to being raised in a country that's eradicating indigenous culture.

Anything other than the traumatic incidents produced by psychic injuries, the documentary follows Buffalo's journey to sobriety and fulfill his dream of turning pro in skateboarding.

Executive producer and skateboarding legend Tony Hawk also endorsed the film in observance of Indigenous people’s day.

Hawk posted. "In observance of Indigenous People’s Day, I highly recommend the new short documentary Joe Buffalo film. It’s the story of Joe Buffalo, a survivor of Canada’s notorious Indian Residential School system who overcomes his past (and inner demons) to become an Indigenous skate legend. I am proud to be an executive producer on this New Yorker mag film directed by Amar Chebib."

Watch the short film about surviving the horror of residential schools by skateboarding below. Enjoy!

Written by: Efron
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Photo and Video by: The New Yorker